Feb 172004
Authors: Brittany Burke

A combination of luck and spunk is what job seekers need to cash in on the competitive job front in Fort Collins.

“It is tough to get a job here,” said Kelly Collins, a manager at Austin’s American Grill, 100 W. Mountain Ave. “It’s really about being at the right place at the right time.”

Some CSU students search for a job during the school year. Businesses turn hundreds of those students away every month.

Kristy Lundby, a junior human development major, recently applied at Conner O’Brians, a new bar opening in Old Town. She moved home to Colorado Springs during the summer to find work. She paid rent in Fort Collins while she worked with medical records at a doctor’s office.

“I have been looking for a job since August,” Lundby said. “I am always promised a phone call but I never get them. I have had no luck.”

Austin’s employs 40 individuals, about 15 of who are college students. They hire if they are in need of employees and look for availability, experience and personality.

“This town is very seasonal,” Collins said. “We are getting ready to do our hiring for the summer.”

Although many restaurants hire based on experience, those with experience are still turned down.

“This summer I put in applications at about 20 restaurants and a few golf courses,” said Amanda Mathisen, a junior psychology major who has experience in both fields. “They all said they would keep my application on file but they weren’t hiring.”

The shortage of jobs, especially during the summer, has caused some to plan ahead.

“I am going to start looking in March for a summer job,” Mathisen said.

However, not all students spend hours in traffic traveling around town obtaining applications and searching for open positions.

Soraya Desouza, a junior biology major, found a job at one of the first places she looked, a pool hall and bar located on Mason.

“I parked in front of Match-Ups because I needed to go to the Administration Building,” Desouza said. “I went in, filled out an application and they called me back the next day and offered me a job. I got lucky.”

Some businesses in town employ many high school students as well as college students. ColdStone Creamery, 1821 E. Harmony Road, has only eight out of 27 employees enrolled in college.

“We do some of the hiring online so it is hard to know exactly how many people are applying,” said Casey Murphy, a manager at ColdStone. “But we still get around 10 to 20 applications a week.”

The frustration of trying to find a job doesn’t end once a student graduates and leaves this college-based town.

Nate Pummel, a recent graduate from CSU with a degree in math, has been looking for a job since he left Fort Collins in December.

“Looking for a job is very stressful because it’s hard to find one,” Pummel said. “You have to know somebody (at that job) and I don’t know that many people.”

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